Cyber Attacks Up 15 Percent Since 2010, According to Emerson, Ponemon Institute Study

Holiday season brings increased concerns from e-commerce industry; 34 percent of respondents cited cyber attacks as cause of data center downtime

COLUMBUS, Ohio--()--With both cyber attacks and the costs of data center outages rising, there is an immediate need for businesses to secure proper technology and safeguard data. This need was highlighted in a recent study, the “2013 Study on Data Center Outages,” in which 34 percent of respondents cited cyber attacks as a cause for data center downtime, compared to just 15 percent in 2010. The Ponemon Institute study – which was sponsored by Emerson Network Power, a business of Emerson (NYSE: EMR) and a global leader in maximizing availability, capacity and efficiency of critical infrastructure – explores the causes and costs of downtime in the United States.

“On the heels of Cyber Monday, data center downtime is an e-commerce platform manager’s biggest concern,” said Scott Barbour, global business leader of Emerson Network Power. “There is a need for additional investment in data center infrastructure management in order to support increasingly mobile, social and cloud-based businesses. The data in this report will help decision-makers evaluate financial implications associated with mitigating risk.”

In addition to the “2013 Study on Data Center Outages,” a companion report was released highlighting the cost of data center outages. That report quantifies the cost of an unplanned data center outage at slightly more than $7,900 per minute, a 41 percent increase from 2010.

“Given the fact that today’s data centers support more critical, interdependent devices and IT systems than ever before, most would expect a rise in the cost of an unplanned data center outage compared to 2010,” said Larry Ponemon, Ph.D., chairman and founder, the Ponemon Institute. “However, the 41 percent increase in costs was higher than expected and underscores the importance for companies to prioritize risk mitigation.”

Highlights of the “2013 Cost of Data Center Outages” report – and the companion “2013 Study on Data Center Outages” – include:

  • The average reported outage length was 86 minutes, resulting in an average cost per incident of approximately $690,200. (In 2010, the average outage was 97 minutes and cost approximately $505,500.)
  • For a total data center outage, which had an average recovery time of 119 minutes, average costs were approximately $901,500. (In 2010, the average recovery time was 134 minutes and cost about $680,700.)
  • For a partial data center outage, which averaged 56 minutes in length, average costs were approximately $350,400. (In 2010, a partial outage averaged 59 minutes and cost approximately $258,000.)
  • Ninety-one percent of survey respondents reported experiencing an unplanned data center outage in the past 24 months. This is a slight decrease from the 95 percent of respondents in the 2010 study who reported outages.
  • Regarding the frequency of outages, respondents experienced an average of two complete data center outages in the past two years. Partial outages, or those limited to certain racks, occurred an average of six times in the same timeframe.
  • Companies with revenue models that depend on the data center’s ability to deliver IT and networking services to customers – such as telecommunications service providers and e-commerce companies – and those that deal with a large amount of secure data – such as defense contractors and financial institutions – continue to incur the most significant downtime costs; with the highest cost of a single event reaching more than $1.7 million.

Study Methodology

The “2013 Cost of Data Center Outages” report analyzes costs and a number of other downtime-related factors at 67 data centers (2,500 square feet or more) within the past year across varying industry segments. It provides a comprehensive analysis of the direct, indirect and opportunity costs from data center outages, including damage to mission-critical data, impact of downtime on organizational productivity, damage to equipment, legal and regulatory repercussions, and lost confidence and trust among key stakeholders. The “2013 Study on Data Center Outages” is a survey of 584 individuals in U.S. organizations who have responsibility for data center operations.

To download the complete 2013 Ponemon Institute study and a related podcast, or to register for the upcoming webinar “The Increased Costs of Data Center Downtime and Best Practices to Prevent It,” visit Emerson Network Power also recently issued an infographic summarizing the costs of data center downtime and the findings of the study.

For more information on technologies and services from Emerson Network Power, visit

About Emerson Network Power

Emerson Network Power, a business of Emerson (NYSE: EMR), delivers software, hardware and services that maximize availability, capacity and efficiency for data centers, healthcare and industrial facilities. A trusted industry leader in smart infrastructure technologies, Emerson Network Power provides innovative data center infrastructure management solutions that bridge the gap between IT and facility management and deliver efficiency and uncompromised availability regardless of capacity demands. Our solutions are supported globally by local Emerson Network Power service technicians. Learn more about Emerson Network Power products and services at

About Emerson

Emerson (NYSE: EMR), based in St. Louis, Missouri (USA), is a global leader in bringing technology and engineering together to provide innovative solutions for customers in industrial, commercial, and consumer markets around the world. The company is comprised of five business segments: Process Management, Industrial Automation, Network Power, Climate Technologies, and Commercial & Residential Solutions. Sales in fiscal 2013 were $24.7 billion. For more information, visit


For Emerson
Monica Howald, 314-982-6233


For Emerson
Monica Howald, 314-982-6233